The International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers, IFPTE, the union that represents THE TVA employees, says it has also seen how this story has unfolded in other utility companies across the country. In California, for example, when Pacific Gas and Electric laid off hundreds of workers in 2017, at least 70 of those jobs were relocated to India, a step the company did not disclose at first. And in 2015, when Disney laid off 250 computer scientists in Orlando, the company replaced them with foreign workers with H-1B visas employed by global outsourcing companies. In the case of VAT, the company last year increased the use of H-1B visas – which allow companies to replace American workers with foreigners for jobs called “skilled trades” with a salary of at least $60,000. Sarah Durdaller, Barrasso`s press officer, told The Intercept that the committee received the letter from the union “and stands in whose people contacted with TVA on this issue.” The Committee will continue to oversee VAT, she added. “It`s not a question of qualification, it`s not about the quality of the work,” VAT spokesman Hopson told The Intercept. “It`s not their fault, it`s just that they don`t have the same access to the tools and experience that other companies can offer.” Costs are also not a “primary reason” for outsourcing, Hopson said. (Jeff Lyash, the boss of TVA, who earns $8 million a year, is the highest paid federal employee – a salary that Trump recently threatened to cut.) Jeffrey Lyash, president of the Tennessee Valley Authority, speaks to the Times Free Press on April 23, 2019 in Chattanooga, Tennessee. “He`s fallen on deaf ears so far, but Lord knows there was no louder voice than him when outsourcing American workers,” said Shearon, the international president. “These companies don`t pay U.S. taxes, often don`t employ American workers, and given the promises of the president and this global pandemic, and 30 million unemployed, that`s simply unacceptable.” VAT redundancies are just a bolt. Henson`s letter with Paul Shearon, IFPTE`s international president, and Matthew Biggs, its treasurer, also said it was “alarming” that a federal government institution is currently allowed to lay off hundreds of workers.
The union urged senators to add language to the next aid law, which prevents TVA from relocating jobs.